Google Search: This week in search 6/27/10

Speed is a common theme at Google—the notion of speed is baked into all of our products, from Google Chrome to web search. Often, we also simply develop features that help deliver answers fast. Whether by displaying the exact content you’re looking for at the top of your search results page or by optimizing the way you search, many of these speed enhancements save you keystrokes—and time.

This week, we released two new features:

Sunrise and Sunset Search feature
Whether you’re looking to find the best time for a morning jog or trying to plan that perfect moment for a wedding proposal, knowing exactly when the sun rises or sets can always be helpful. This week, we were happy to launch a Sunrise and Sunset feature for search. It gives the precise times of sunsets and sunrises for any location around the world. Unlike the weather, sunrises and sunsets are quite predictable, and as a result, we don’t use a data source. Instead, we calculate sunrise and sunset times based on latitude, longitude and the current time. This calculation has been of interest to astronomers and mathematicians for millennia, so they’ve had time to get it just right. And for most locations, it’s accurate to within a single minute.


Example searches: [sunrise port jefferson ny] or [sunset cancun]

Google Search by Voice expanded to more languages
Google Search by Voice enables people to search the web faster than ever before—getting you answers with fewer keystrokes. This service was originally launched in English, and was offered in the U.S., U.K., India, Australia and New Zealand. We later introduced Japanese and Mandarin to expand the number of possible users. Just a week ago, we launched the service in French, Italian, German and Spanish. Given that local dialects are a factor in the performance of speech recognition, we first launched our service in the four countries most closely associated with these languages: France, Germany, Italy and Spain. This week we followed with Korean and the launch in Taiwan of Traditional Mandarin.

To get started with Google Search by Voice, visit the Google mobile page in your country’s domain (for example, in France go to m.google.fr) and download the application for your phone’s operating system in your locale. You’ll find this available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry phones. Ultimately, our goal is to bring Google Search by voice to speakers of all languages, so stay tuned for more announcements here.

We’ll see you back here next week for more new announcements.

Posted by Johanna Wright

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